Welcome back to a new year in practice. I am sure you are as thrilled as we are to be starting afresh on helping people better their health. Do you do new year's resolutions? I do see that they might only last so long and wear thin, but I think they help us to start the year on a high.
In my personal life I have made the same new year’s resolution for a second year running – to do one thing every day to make life easier. This might be something small, but the idea is that the incremental change can help to break down a feeling of overwhelm that seems so prevalent in our modern and complicated lives.
You might call these changes “tweaks”, as they are so small that anyone else other than those directly impacted might not notice. I am talking changing where the car keys live in your house. Or moving infrequently worn items in your wardrobe.
Just as a new year brings us the opportunity to refresh and refocus on our health and wellbeing – starting back after a break allows us fresh focus on those little things that frustrate us at work. So why not embrace the opportunity for change by asking every member of your team to suggest a “tweak” to the practice environment and then workshopping these at a staff meeting. Maybe changing out the hand sanitiser bottles for bigger ones that don’t need as many refills. Or buying a cabinet for the bathroom to hold the spare rolls closer to the toilets. Turning a regular frustration into a breeze. But also empowering your team.
Now, carry this concept into your patient community by looking at the feedback you’ve received to see if there are some things that annoy your patients that you can easily fix. Pick the low hanging fruit and run with it. Some examples I have seen recently are adding some larger chairs (without arms) to the waiting area, whilst still retaining some with arms for the elderly. Or changing the reception layout to better accommodate people. Is there a feature in your existing software package that you don’t use that you could spend the time to set up and make your patients’ lives easier? Why not spend a little time to work on your business rather than just in it this new year.